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I'd go for the lighter loads. Shorter barells produce less velocity so a lighter load can help compensate. I'd go for 185 in fmj and 165 for hp. Its important for hollowpoints to acheive a certain velocity in order to expand properly.
 

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... Of coarse accuracy and reliability is the most important. Afterall, lets face it, bullet choice is a luxury, getting shot sucks either way.
 

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I did a lot of research on this one with the same concerns. What I thought would be a huge difference really boiled down to "not significant" in all the tests I read. The velocity loss is not enough to reduce expansion in quality loads. The ones I read and concentrated mostly on were the Winchester Ranger Talon (230grn) and Winchester JHP45USA (230 grn). In all tests that "I" read about the bullets expaned identically from all barrells (5" 4" 3.5") and were within a few thousands of an inch (average) of each other.

YMMV, but I'm comfortable with my choices. Also the Gold Dot bullets at +P velocities did fine out of the 3" barrel also. Also heard about a new 200grn Gold Dot bullet that is supposed to be pretty good, but haven't read too much on it yet.
 

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Originally posted by ShootinSpirit:
... Of coarse accuracy and reliability is the most important. Afterall, lets face it, bullet choice is a luxury, getting shot sucks either way.
What he says here goes before my post. If the Ranger T's or GD aren't reliable in your gun, it's a moot point. Use what FEEDs...
 

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I like the +P 185 JHPs. They have enough velocity to pretty much assure expansion even from the 3.5 and 4" barrels. If I we're using the really compact 45's, I'd go with the 165s. I have found a big variation in chronograph testing that I've done. The heaviest I'd go with even if it was a 5" barrel would be a +P in 200 gr.
 

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My pistols have 4 inch barrels (or longer) so my opinion;
- reliability is number one. Test any defensive ammo enough to feel comfortable to bet your life on.
- Is your ammo accurate AND controlable in your hands. For self defense ranges tend to be close and time short. Don't sacrifice reliabiltiy for 1 inch groups at 25 yds. Don't use plus p loads if you can not deliver a follow-up shot quickly/on target at 7 yds.
- You NEED penetration, you WANT expansion. There are too many variables in regards to gunshot wounds/results to say X is better than Y because it does blah blah blah 88% of the time. Street reports and gelatin results are indicators, not absolutes.

For me, I use 230gr jhp's that meet the above statements.

[This message has been edited by Russ45 (edited 11-08-2001).]
 

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GET a 185 to 230 gr bullet that works in your gun, Don't worry about weight. If your gun likes the bullet. It will work..My KIMBERS do very well with the 115gr Aguila. I can't find anyone who likes them, Except those who were with me when we were testing them.
 
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